An improved method and apparatus for producing flexible fibers (30) of superconducting material includes a crucible (12) for containing a charge of the superconducting material. The material is melted in the crucible (12) and falls in a stream (18) through a bottom hole (16) in the crucible (12). The stream (18) falls through a protecting collar (22) which maintains the stream (18) at high temperatures. The stream (18) is then supplied through a downwardly directed nozzle (26) where it is subjected to a high velocity of a heated gas (36') which breaks the melted superconducting material into ligaments which solidify into the flexible fibers (30). The fibers (30) are collected by directing them against a collection filter (32).
This invention was made with Government support under a contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Ames Laboratory, Contract No. SC-91-225, our reference number CRD-1272. The Government has certain rights in this invention.